Raising the ceiling, raising the bar and upping the ante.
E-commerce revenues for one year over $100 billion?
That's what happened last year, 2006.
A barrier has been broken.
Maybe, finally, people will forget all about that little bubble burst around the turn of the century and admit that e-commerce is for real — and it is going to just keep growing. Almost anyone who sells anything should be selling (at least part of what they sell) online.
Holiday sales made the point, emphatically.
Most researchers who track the retail industry in the US put overall 2006 holiday sales at between 2.5% and 3.5% above last year, the slowest pace of growth in two years, blaming the lackluster season on weather (either too warm or too snowy), falling home prices and rising energy costs.
Online sales were the exception to the rule.
According to comScore Networks, online sales for 12 days during the November/December holiday season surpassed the $600 million mark — each day.
Wednesday, December 13, marked the heaviest online spending day of 2006 with $667 million spent, followed by Monday, December 11 ($661 million), and Monday, December 4 ($648 million).
By comparison, just six days in 2005 reached $500 million in online sales, with the top day, Monday, December 12, registering $556 million.
In total, 2006 online holiday e-commerce sales (not counting travel revenues) reached $24.6 billion, up 26% over 2005.
For the full year, 2006 online retail spending reached $102.1 billion, according to comScore, a 24% increase on 2005.
"2006 was certainly an exceptional year for online retailers," said Gian Fulgoni, chairman of comScore Networks. "The online holiday shopping season of course played a vital role in the year's success, as spending accelerated during the final two months of the year, helping push total online retail spending over the $100 billion threshold."
Of course none of this will come as a surprise to regular readers of eMarketer's analysis. In US Retail E-Commerce, published by eMarketer in June 2006, US online retail spending (excluding travel) was projected to reach $105 billion.
To find out what is in store for 2007, click here to read the full report.